Food for the Soul: Nina’s Euro Blog

Warsaw’s businesses, homes and streets are decorated with yellow and blue pansies as a sign of solidarity with Ukraine. Photo: Nina Heyn

April 7 … I’m starting my trek through Europe from Warsaw – the epicenter of Poland’s support of the waves of Ukrainian refugees. Close to 2,5 million of them went through Polish borders, either on their way to destinations all over Europe or to be hosted inside Poland by families. The refugees are mainly assisted by an army of volunteers estimated at 2 million people. Ordinary citizens and a slew of charitable organizations, social foundations, NGO’s and especially community, city councils and local governments have been providing assistance for weeks now. Some of the help is in the form of temporary housing in people’s homes or hotels, sometimes by providing transportation or by directing new arrivals to various forms of assistance – healthcare, education and childcare. Close to a million of Ukrainian children have come through the Polish border, about 400,000 of those who stayed have already been given social security numbers that allow them the same free education, preschools and health services that are available to all Polish residents.

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